One day, while procrastinating on Facebook, I saw that my sister shared a page. My sister isn't an over-sharer (God bless her!) so I knew that this had to be worth while. It was the "Hope Rocks for Jake & Ryan" page. I recognized these boys because they're friends with my nephews. After reading through the page & learning about why it existed in the first place, I realized I knew very little about my nephew's friends. Jake & Ryan are 10 & 6 and both have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; an aggressive & lethal form of MD of which (right now) there is no cure. After scrolling through their web-site & Facebook page, I found a post from their mother, Lauren, which compelled me to do something for this family:
"When I dreamed of having children, I imagined with hope all of the benchmarks of happy lives for them: love, security, pursuing their dreams, finding a loving partner, enriching career, perhaps children of their own.
These dreams do not change when you learn your only two children have a devastating, incurable disease. There is a lot more to contend with, but these dreams do not change. I remember reading that the cost of this disease (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) bankrupted families. This scared me silly. My husband and I are educated, hard working people, but we cannot cover the expense of this disease by ourselves. In accepting this, I ask not for your pity, but your partnership.
I have also learned as a parent facing this disease in my children, that it will either destroy you or create you into something stronger. I hate fear. It sucks. My response to the growing costs of this disease is to create and host the first annual HOPE ROCKS FOR JAKE AND RYAN benefit. Each dollar raised will go toward a ramp, a lowered light switch, an accessible sink, a widened doorway.
I ask you to stand beside me in investing in the welfare of my kids. I ask you to come, have a great time at the benefit, to donate an item or service to the silent auction if you are able, and to join my heart in allowing basic comforts for Jake and Ryan as their disease becomes more complex. These things will free them to be allowed to dream, to live, perhaps as I always hoped they could."
I wanted to photograph the Fritz family because photographs are important. Memories are important. Family is important. I hope that you will all donate your time or funds to this incredible family. Enjoy this post of their family session I shot in their Pottsgrove home/backyard just a few weeks ago.
The first annual HOPE ROCKS for Jake and Ryan benefit will take place at the Norco (North Coventry) Fire Hall Banquet Room on Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 7 to 11 p.m. in Pottstown, PA. Attendees will enjoy an entertaining evening including delicious BBQ by Moyer's Catering, upbeat live music by Andy and Company, dancing and a silent auction. More information about the event can be found at www.hoperocks.info